67.0 x 136.0cm
Lu Yanshao (also known as Di or Wanruo) was born in 1909 in the south of Shanghai in Jiading County. He was a famous artist, highly skilled in poetry, prose, calligraphy, and landscape painting.
Lu was admitted to the Wuxi Fine Arts training school in 1927, and was a student of a leading painter of the time, Feng Chaoran (1882-1954). Around the same time, Lu met another famous painter Wu Hufan (1894-1970). Wu, together with Feng, broadened Lu's knowledge and expertise in painting, introducing him to many famous works from ancient China. In 1962 Lu joined the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts in eastern China, and later became a professor of traditional painting. He also served as director of the Zhejiang Institute of Painting.
Lu is considered to be one of the major landscape painters of 20th century China. He introduced the technique of 'liubai' (leaving blank spaces) and 'mokuai' (applying clusters of ink), drawing on his study of classic paintings. Combined with Lu's unique method of outlining clouds, the effect is to increase the depth of his paintings. His restless, trembling brushstrokes give the rocks, mountains and water a shimmering movement, an impression that is evident in this painting.
The inscription at the top left hand side of the scroll indicates the painting is inspired by the prose of one of the Tang dynasty's greatest poets and scholars Bai Juyi (773-817).
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, September 2011
Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2005 2005, 2005, 26 (colour illus.).